Baby Face

Bonnie Hemingway was burned in a fire very early in life, causing her face to be contorted and "ugly". Over her 15 years on this Earth, she has gone through countless failed correctional opperations, driven her family apart and suffered bullying from her peers.
However, one day she meets Harvey. Not gorgeous, hunky or desperately heroic. No. Harvey is kind and funny and human. Which is just what Bonnie needs.

Is it, though?

This is a story that just highlights how the effects of bullying can linger long after the mental gunfire. I hope you enjoy.


7. Fin.


Donna Hemmingway stood, quite still. Her feet were planted firmly on the roughly-cut turf: they would not be moving any time soon. Indeed, she feared that her body would never again move in quite the same way as it did before. The wind was flat and non-responsive. The air tasted of sticky moisture and sharp metallic pangs of emptiness would gush over her, every now and then. The small, jovial minister stood over the wooden box. It was a strange, morphed scene: the sun was beating down and most probably, in some tree along the avenue, there was a small bird, ready to empty it’s lungs of its song. But it was all wrong. The crowd saw it. Donna saw it. But there was one person who would never see it.

Because that someone was in the wooden box. 

Once the box had been lowered into the hole, the crowd began to disperse. Soon, they would forget. They would forget about the little girl who lived in the box and how she got there. But Donna would not forget. She couldn’t.

Another girl, about the same age as the one who lived in the box remained there, a raven’s feather fascinator balanced over her secure bun. She wanted to cry. She wanted to weep for the girl. Not because she missed her. But because she wanted to say sorry. Sorry for not being there when she needed a friend. Donna moved closer to the girl and without making any kind of acknowledgement said: “It’s Sorcha isn’t it? Sorcha?” The girl looked up and nodded, slightly taken aback.

“Yes. You’re Bonnie’s mother aren’t you?” Donna held her head up and peered into the sky. She did not answer, but Sorcha knew it was a yes. “She should be here now. I’ve been waiting for her and she still hasn’t come.” Sorcha did not respond: she did not know how to. “Bonnie went to your birthday party, didn’t she? Yes, she was very fond of you.” Donna’s eyes began to glaze over. “Thank you. For being there for her.” How can I do this? Sorcha thought. I am lying to this woman. “I-I’m sorry.” She muttered feebly. “I’m- I have to go.”

“Wait.” Donna said. Sorcha turned around. “Say thank you to Harvey, your cousin. Bonnie talked about him. They were friends, she told me. I’m sorry he couldn’t make it today but... just tell him: Thank you.”

Sorcha pivoted around completely, facing Donna. An expression of sheer confusion was etched upon her face. “M-me?” Sorcha stammered, wanting to let the words gush out, but finding it hard to do so. “I-I, Ms. Hemingway, I... I don’t know anybody called Harvey.”

“B-but, she said that he was your cousin. I’m sure she did, she said that he was your cousin! She told me, I... he was her friend, her friend...” Realisation crept across Donna and it stabbed her coldly. She slumped and gurgled and babbled and moaned for her daughter. And her daughter’s only friend.

Who never existed.


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